One of the few hypotheses that I am trying to figure out now (thanks to the advice of several pine mouth sufferers) is that bitter sensitivity could play a role in whether one experiences severe / mild / no symptoms of pine mouth after ingesting the incriminating pine nuts.
As a Chinese Singaporean, I love eating bitter foods such as bittergourd (a.k.a. bitter melon) with spicy soyabean paste [Picture source: The Cookbook Chronicles] and I would drink some bitter Chinese herbal drinks and strong black tea without any sweetening. Somehow it made me believe that I might not be at all susceptible to pine mouth.
Wednesday afternoon. I gave in to curiosity and decided to taste the pine nut samples that I have received. Pine nuts have never really been part of my diet (I’ve eaten it a couple of times in my lifetime) and I’m not very familiar with the taste to be honest. And so I tasted some small seeds, some oval, some more angular, some darker in colour, and also the one sample of big Italian ones that I have received. I also tried tasting the weird-looking tip of the seed separately. Oh, I bought capsules of PinnoThin (containing Korean pine oil) to taste too! I was curious to know how they differ in flavours, whether the samples were really rancid, or were they characteristic flavours of the seeds, or if the toasted ones from Trader Joe’s taste different from the raw ones? I was very cautious though, eating no more than 10 seeds.
Friday afternoon. Just before I headed off for my regular squash games, I started to feel a little bloated and uncomfortable in the tummy area. It must be the junk I’ve eaten (I am quite a compulsive snacker). Later that evening, I had a spicy-food sharing session with my Mexican and Malaysian friends and my mouth was burning of spice almost the entire night. Didn’t really notice anything except for a headache from the lack of sleep. I had an early night, but the next day (today), it seemed that my ice cream, peanuts and pretzels especially when the salt crystals dissolve! left a bitter-ish / sour-metallic taste in the mouth that lingers at the back and posterior sides of the tongue for a while but goes away soon after I rinse my mouth with tea. I wonder, if thinking so much about the pine nuts is making me imagine things (just like how we can salivate by just thinking of lemon juice), or am I really experiencing pine mouth??
Will see how it goes tomorrow. At least I now know how these pine nuts taste like, and that the ones I have received weren’t particularly off-tasting compared to fresh ones from a packet.
A couple of other posts coming up! It’s been a busy week, so I had to leave many things to the weekend~
PS: I have just realized recently after creating this blog that I have named it the same as The Greasy Spoon’s post on the syndrome. I must have come across it in my earlier searches and the catchy name stuck somewhere at the back of my mind. Thanks to the author who didn’t mind me keeping it🙂 This blog, being relatively new, still has yet to appear on searches, so everyone please do help spread the word of this research! Thank you!